26.6.13

What's Up Wednesday

What's Up Wednesday is a weekly meme started by Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk where writers post about what's up by answering four questions. If you want to participate go here.


WHAT I'M READING
 
I finished Shadow & Bone a few days ago (if you want to know what I thought about it, you can read my review here), and that was perfect timing because The 5th Wave arrived in the mail. I won a copy from Jaime and since a lot of people were saying how good it was, I immediately started reading it and so far this book IS as good as everyone says it is. It's really hard to put down, and if I didn't force myself to, I don't think I would've gotten any writing done.


WHAT I'M WRITING

If you  read my last WUW post, then you know that I wasn't feeling too good about my writing. I was upset about not being able to get anywhere with any of my projects, and for a few days I just felt horrible about it. Then I read the comments in my WUW post and it made me feel better. I can't thank you guys enough for all the encouragement. Your support truly means a lot to me.

I am happy to report that I have written a little over 7K since last Wednesday. I'm writing Unfair without any kind of outline, and with only a general sense of the plot. I love my main character Camellia and I'm learning so much about this world through her eyes. I'm also learning a lot about her in the process. I might have to scrap everything in the next draft, and start from scratch but I'll cross that road when I get to it. Right now I'm just enjoying being able to write and more importantly - write freely.

I was debating over whether I should share a snippet but then I remembered that I said I would post one once I reached 4K. I apologize in advance for the sucky first draft writing but here's the opening:

I knew the soldier would come for me.
I just didn’t know when.
Sondra was staring out the window when she saw him. She had been standing there for what seemed like hours, face pressed against the glass, eyes stuck between here and somewhere else. The glare of the morning sun lit up her face, illuminating the curiosity that gleamed in her eyes and the disappointment that hid beneath it.
Had she been expecting someone else?
It would make sense if she was. Sondra didn’t long for the sea of wood and dirt that made up our village. No – the longing that colored her face the moment she first stood in front of that window was caused by something else. Someone else. My sister wanted to get out of this village more than anything. She wanted to see the world beyond the trees and the charred remains of a castle that meant nothing now that its king was dead. The person she was waiting for was supposed to come and whisk her away from all of this.
Only her knight in shining armor didn’t come, and the heavy sigh that shook her tiny frame was proof that she had given up on ever being rescued.

I'm having so much fun writing this, and I really hope I can get a big chunk of this written this summer. My goals for this week is to finish Chapter Two. If I finish it early, then I'll start working on Chapter Three. I'm really excited about writing the next scene because I get to introduce the Huntsman! I had fun figuring out his background/making him different from the one introduced in the original story, so we'll see how this goes.


WHAT INSPIRES ME RIGHT NOW

  • Research: I'm doing a lot of research on Snow White to see how I can use some of the little elements in the story in my retelling. So far burning shoes (the original version deals with this), poisoned apples, and glass coffins are really important to the plot. I also have read a few interesting articles about what messages Snow White (the original fairytale and all of the adaptations) sends about beauty.
  • Ready. Set. Write!: I know I keep saying this but it's so true. Everyone participating in this is so supportive and helpful and reading tweets about progress inspires me to write even when I don't feel like it.
  • Henry Cavill:
This is his 'Shouldn't you be writing?' face
            I have really considered putting a character in my wip that looks exactly like him so if (by some miracle) my book gets published and made into a movie, he can be in it and...yeah. A girl can dream, can't she?


WHAT ELSE I'VE BEEN UP TO

My friends and I are trying to figure out where we want to go for Spring Break next year. We can't seem to agree on anything at the moment. Everyone wants to go to California and I want to go to Florida. Hopefully we agree on something/have everything planned out before next year.

And thanks for the birthday wishes!



As you can see, pink is the best color in the world my favorite color

I got an Amazon gift card which is about the only thing I ask for every year. My mom still is surprised that I don't ask for something else but I'm a really simple kid. Give me money for books and you'll make me the happiest person alive. I'm going to buy Siege & Storm once I reach 10K (bribery works people) because I need to find out what happens next.

Also, this is my LAST year as a teenager. I know it's too early to start freaking out but...just thinking about it makes me wonder where the time has gone.

Well, enough about me. What's up with you guys? Anyone meet their goals for the week or have something exciting going on?
21.6.13

Book Review: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Hi guys!

Though I was extremely tired, I stayed up until four o'clock this morning reading S&B because it was really hard to put down and Alina was a girl after my own heart and...THE DARKLING!!!!

I try to be spoiler-free when I write book reviews because I know how it feels to have something ruined but...I just really want to hear other people's thoughts on the Darkling. He's one of my favorite characters in the book besides Alina and Genya. I know there are reasons I shouldn't like him, but he has to be the most intriguing character in the entire book. Not to mention that he makes black look so good but...*ahem*

Moving on.

A little about the book before I share my thoughts on it:

The Shadow Fold, a swathe of impenetrable darkness, crawling with monsters that feast on human flesh, is slowly destroying the once-great nation of Ravka.

Alina, a pale, lonely orphan, discovers a unique power that thrusts her into the lavish world of the kingdom’s magical elite—the Grisha. Could she be the key to unravelling the dark fabric of the Shadow Fold and setting Ravka free?

The Darkling, a creature of seductive charm and terrifying power, leader of the Grisha. If Alina is to fulfill her destiny, she must discover how to unlock her gift and face up to her dangerous attraction to him.

But what of Mal, Alina’s childhood best friend? As Alina contemplates her dazzling new future, why can’t she ever quite forget him?

Glorious. Epic. Irresistible. Romance.


(Taken from Goodreads)

I honestly don't know where to begin.

It took me a few pages to get into the story, yes, but once the book finally sinks its claws into you, it will never let go. There are people who find fault in the author's use of Russian history/culture to shape the world Alina lives in and...for the record...I don't know much about Russian history/culture...so none of that was an issue for me while reading. I do, however, wish that we got to see more of the world Alina and the rest of the characters live in. A huge part of the book takes place in one specific location, and though I understand why, it would be nice to see more of Ravka.

Hopefully this will happen in the next two books in the trilogy.

Shadow & Bone is more character-driven than anything. Yes, there is romance and politics and magic but the book focuses more on Alina and how she is dealing with being thrown into a world she doesn't quite understand, while also trying to fit in and be the shining light that everyone needs her to be in this time of great darkness.

Leigh Bardugo has a very fresh writing style. The voice was spot-on and I even found myself laughing every once in a while because I saw a little of myself in Alina. Books are always great to read when the voice is strong but when it's coming from a character you can relate to?

Yeah, that's even better.

There are a lot of lines I wish I could have written. The descriptions are very vivid and colorful and I could picture almost every scene in my head, which is a huge plus in my book. I was a little disappointed that there wasn't a lot of romance but also glad that it wasn't the driving factor of the book either.

This book is very seductive. It's dark and beautiful and extremely well-written in my opinion. I regret not reading this months ago when I bought it but I am glad I decided to delve into this book now because it truly is as good as a lot of people say it is. Again, I really wish I could've seen more of Ravka but...that minor critique isn't enough for me to not want to continue the series.


If you're looking for a fast read that's set against the backdrop of a dark fantasy world where nothing is as it seems, then this book is for you. I HIGHLY recommend that you read it. And if you already have, then we need to talk about the Darkling. Please tell me that I'm not the only one who couldn't help but like him.

Thanks for reading!

(I got an Amazon gift card for my birthday so I'll be buying Siege and Storm soon. Well, after I get some more writing done. I'm 200 words away from 2K so once I hit 3.5K I'll treat myself to S&S.)
19.6.13

What's Up Wednesday

 
What's Up Wednesday is a weekly meme started by Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk where writers post about what's up by answering four questions. If you want to participate go here.



WHAT I'M READING

I bought Shadow & Bone a really long time ago but haven't gotten around to it until now. I'm looking forward to reading it because I've heard so many great things about it. I love how dark/mysterious the cover is.

It makes me wish I had the actual book instead of an e-copy because it's SO GORGEOUS. I have only read the prologue so far so I don't know how I feel about the book just yet. I'm hoping it's as good as everyone says it is.


WHAT I'M WRITING

In the post I wrote on Monday I talked about how hard it's been getting back into the groove of writing. I have been writing a lot lately so the actual getting words out isn't the problem. If I make myself not think about what I'm writing, I can write pretty fast and churn out a lot of words. But the key word is if. I just feel really unsure about my writing at the moment so I find myself reading over it as I go along, rewriting it to try to make it better, and then getting rid of it when it just doesn't work. I know this isn't a good thing to do but...I can't help it.  I NEED to learn to help it though if I want to have some kind of draft to work with at the end of the summer.

Hopefully all of these feelings will pass soon. If not, then I am still going to push through.

As for what I'm working on right now? Well Starfall isn't cooperating at the moment. I think it has to do with the fact that I don't know the characters. Though the whole story is outlined, and I know what happens, I don't know what kind of people these characters are. I want to spend a few days figuring that out, and then maybe writing it won't feel so detached.

I mentioned that I would also be working on a side project to keep me writing whenever I wasn't working on Starfall. The side project has now taken the front seat, and I hope it goes somewhere. It's a darker retelling of Snow White, which I'm really excited about writing because I love fairy-tales. If you're curious to know how it differs from the original story you can read about it here.

Goals for the week (and the rest of the summer)

I am still going to follow up on my original goals. These new goals are just more personal, something that I think is important to work on in order to stay motivated about writing.
  • Don't give up
  • Be more confident about writing
  • Read A LOT
  • Try not to read over what I write
  • Don't edit as I go along
  • Learn to trust myself as a storyteller
I have been feeling down about my writing lately and I've decided that part of the reason why is because I feel detached and I don't trust myself as a writer or as a storyteller. The only solution to that, I think, is to keep writing which is why I'm not going to give up. This summer is about learning as well as finishing something. So I'm going learn and grow from this experience and be proud of whatever I do accomplish once the summer ends.

WHAT INSPIRES ME RIGHT NOW

There has been a lot of things inspiring me lately. For instance the soundtrack to Snow White & the Huntman has been on repeat these past few days. It's so beautiful and every song tells a story even though they're instrumentals. Every time I listen to it I think "Ooh I can write a sword-fighting scene to this" or "This could be the scene where THAT THING happens".

If you've never listened to it before, here you go:



Other music that is inspiring me right now is Florence + the Machine but I can't listen to it while writing because then I start singing along and nothing gets done.

My Pinterest board for Unfair is also inspiring me a lot. Pinterest is an amazing thing and I love finding pictures that work with the story and then writing down why that particular picture works. As I've mentioned before, I am a visual person so all of the pictures on the board are scenes that will take place in the story.

I ran across a link to a post by Libba Bray on Twitter that I really resonated with me because it's exactly the way I've been feeling right now. It's inspirational to me because it reminds me that all writers struggle. Some might have different struggles, others might have the same. And that struggle doesn't go away once you've written one book or twenty. It doesn't go away if you have an agent or a book deal or even if you make the NYT Bestseller list. The important thing to get out of all of that is...writing is possible, completing something is possible. You just have to put one word in front of the other and it might not be easier than it sounds but writing is hard. Remembering that you're not alone...well that's the easy part.

Hearing about other people's successes has really been a huge inspiration to me this week. All of the people participating in Ready. Set. Write! (and writers in general) are amazing and I'm glad that I get to write with you guys this summer.


WHAT ELSE I'VE BEEN UP TO

I'm celebrating my birthday tomorrow since my mom has to work on Friday. I never had a birthday party and it's always been a tradition of ours to spend the day together so we're just going to do it a day early so that tradition isn't messed up. I don't think I'm going to get to see Monsters University on Friday because I hate going to the movies by myself and all of my friends live in different states so I'm going to have a Lord of the Rings marathon, read, and more importantly eat cake. It might not be a glamorous way to spend the day but there isn't a right (or wrong) way to celebrate your birthday.


I hope you guys have had a great week so far.

Thanks for reading!
17.6.13

Update: On retellings, writing, and not giving up


So writing hasn't been going well for me these past couple of days. I have been writing a lot...it's just...none of it is going anywhere. I almost gave up a few times but thanks to the updates/progress from all of the other writers participating in Ready. Set. Write! I am not going to get discouraged. It's better to keep trying than to not try at all, right?

I think my lack of progress has a lot to do with the fact that I haven't written (other than boring college essays...blah) in over nine months (or however long I was in school...it felt like centuries). Then there's the fact that I nitpick over everything I write, something I need to learn not to do. I know it's not wise to read over your writing as you write but...sometimes I can't help it. I say that I only do it so that I can remember where I left off but then I find a part I want to rewrite, spend hours going all Oscar Wilde on a sentence until I come to the realization that I do need the comma.

It'll be a miracle if I come out of this summer with a shiny first draft (of something) and my sanity.

But, like I said, I am NOT giving up. We're only about a week in and I still have a lot of time to get myself together. I just have to keep telling myself that I finished writing one novel before, and I can do it again. Seriously, though. I'm thinking about leaving Post-It notes with words of encouragement in random places around the house. My mom might get upset but...it's a risk I am willing to take.

Speaking of risks. Did I mention that I'm writing a retelling of Snow White? It was only supposed to be a side project to work on when Starfall wasn't cooperating with me (and at the moment...it's sadly not cooperating) but now it has turned into the story that won't leave me alone.

I talked about it in my last What's Up Wednesday post. It's called Unfair and it's not told from the POV of Snow White. So how is it a retelling of Snow White, you ask? Well it uses all the elements of the original story...just in a different way. I have been having a lot of fun playing around with the darker elements of the original story because...let's face it...the Disney version sugar-coated EVERYTHING. And though I get why... I like the darker side of stories a lot better.

So knowing that I asked myself: What if this isn't really how everything happened? What if Snow White got even? And who is the person in the mirror?

I know there are already stories where Snow White is portrayed as the evil one and not the Queen (see: Snow, Glass, Apples by Neil Gaiman. It's a darkly beautiful story and...you should read it when you get the chance.) but I don't want to portray the Queen as being entirely innocent. I just don't think Snow White is the sweet victim that other versions make her out to be, so from there...I got the plot for my story.

I read a short story where instead of being seven dwarves there were seven knights that helped Snow White and that also got the creative juices in my head spinning. My main character isn't a knight (or a dwarf) but she is one of seven mages who are tasked with stopping dark magic from consuming the kingdom. There's romance, magic, sword-fighting, and...poisoned apples. Lots of them. Don't worry the green ones are safe.

The prince and the Huntsman also factor into the story but they're not who you think they are.

This is all that I'm going say. ;)

I just hope that I can do this retelling justice. It's a story that I really want to read and...I don't want to mess it up. My new goal is to have at least 4K written by Wednesday. If I reach that goal, I will post a snippet.

Okay let me get back to writing. I have a goal to reach.

Happy Writing everyone!
12.6.13

What's Up Wednesday

 

 
What's Up Wednesday is a weekly meme started by Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk where writers post about what's up by answering four questions. If you want to participate go here.

WHAT I'M READING

I finished Faking It by Cora Carmack a few days ago and it was much better than Losing It so if you're looking for a well-written NA Contemporary Romance I highly recommend this book. I'll try to get a review up sometime soon.

I won Slammed in a contest along with a few other NA books so it looks like my summer is going to be NA-tastic. I also still have a lot of other books to read, so I think I'm going to be covered reading-wise for the rest of the year. I've never read anything by Colleen Hoover but I like her writing style. It's simplistic and even though I'm the kind of person who likes to read books with descriptive writing (because it's the way I write) it's nice to read different writing styles, you know? The main character Laken...well let's just say we have a love/hate relationship. I was about ready to throw my Kindle the other day because of something she said and...ugh.

This book is taking me a long time to read but that's mostly because I spend more time writing than reading. Speaking of which...

WHAT I'M WRITING

So the good news is: Starfall has a new beginning. I really like it and it's an improvement from the last one because things are happening and it's not boring. Bad news: The writing is not going as fast as I want it to. I know what I want to happen in this chapter but finding the words to write it is difficult at the moment.

Here is the new and improved beginning:

 
Seren

I notice two things when I pull up to my house: there’s a van parked in the driveway with Curly’s Carpet Cleaning Service printed on the side and the front door is wide open. None of this would be a problem if we had carpeting in any of the rooms in the house, and if my mother had been home to let them in.
Three weeks.
That’s how long it’s been since we spoke to each other. I have gone over our last conversation so many times in my head, trying to see if something she said would give me an idea of what could’ve happened to her, but there was nothing. We talked about the usual things. How sophomore year was coming along, whether I was seeing anyone, and if I remembered to take the taser with me whenever I went out at night with my friends. My mom wouldn’t care if I was failing all of my courses and thinking about dropping out of school to be with a drug dealer twice my age. Just as long as I had the stupid taser she made me promise to never leave the dorms without, everything would be okay.
I would be safe.
But now it seems as though she’s the one who’s in danger.

I decided to participate in Ready. Set. Write! so I can get some writing done this summer. If you want to know more about it go here and (if you're interested) sign up. I am excited about working on Starfall now that I have a shiny new beginning and know how the story is going to end. I even typed out the last line. It feels good having a starting and an ending place. It makes writing this a lot less scary and more hopeful...like I can actually do this.

I'm looking forward to having people to write with this summer. And since I haven't talked about goals, here are a few that I want to reach:

  • Daily Goal: Write 500-1,000 words every day. If I can write more than that, then that's fine but if not...that's also fine. Just as long as I'm writing.
  • Weekly goal: Try to churn out anywhere between 3,000-5,000 words a week. I'm approaching the 1K mark, and would like to have at least 4K written by Friday, and around 6K written by the next What's Up Wednesday post.
  • Summer Goal: Since Starfall is outlined in Acts/Blocks I want to finish half of Act 1 before I go back to school. I think that's around twelve chapters, but I'll have to double-check to make sure. If I somehow (magically) reach this goal early then my goal for the rest of the summer will be to finish Act 1.
I might add to these goals/revise them but as of now this is what I hope to get done this summer. (I also have a super secret side-project called Unfair. It's a darker retelling of Snow White and the only thing I'll say about it is that it's not about Snow White and...apples of the poisonous variety are involved. If you're curious, you can find Unfair's Pinterest board here. I'll work on it to keep myself writing whenever I need to take a mini break from Starfall or get stuck. I might tell you guys more about it if it ends up going anywhere.)


WHAT INSPIRES ME RIGHT NOW

My wip is actually what's inspiring me right now. I can't wait until I get to write the action scenes and when both of my MCs lives really start to change. I'm excited to see how both are going to react to the situations that I throw them in. Poor things...the next couple of chapters are going to be tough.

Also, have you ever dreamed about your wip as a movie? Sometimes I just sit and daydream about what Starfall would be like on the big screen. I want it to have the same feel as Alias with a dash of Men In Black and Falling Skies thrown into the mix. If Starfall ever gets published and someone decides to turn it into a film, he might be a little too old by then but Jesse Williams from Grey's Anatomy is what Nico looks like in my head (especially in this picture and this one) and he would be perfect for the role.

WHAT ELSE I'VE BEEN UP TO

Nothing much. My birthday is on the 21st (which is next week Eep!!!) though and I'm still trying to figure out what I want to do. I'm thinking about going to go see Monsters University (I'm a big kid...I know) since it comes out that day and then out to dinner with my mom. Hehe, can you tell I'm not that big on birthdays?

How about you guys? What are you up to this week?
10.6.13

Your Characters Need to Die (or What I Learned From Watching Game of Thrones)


I still have to watch the S3 finale of Game of Thrones but as of this morning...I have finally experienced the Red Wedding, and even though (thanks to Twitter) I knew people were going to die and it was going to be horrible and...if you watch Game of Thrones then you know just how bloody and gory it can get...I just wasn't expecting for the wedding to end like that.

I hate spoilers so I'm not going to talk about what happened for those of you who might be behind. I'll just say that even as I type this blog post, I'm still a little upset and sad and a whole bunch of other emotions that I can't put a name to at the moment.

I'm not upset about all of the gore. I'm not crying because a lot of people died. I knew what I signed up for the moment I started watching the show. Death and gore isn't anything new, but when characters you grow to like are the ones that die...that hurts. And even though it hurts - the pain that comes when you lose a favorite character (or two or three...however many it is) can be useful.

Don't be fooled by the title of this post. I'm not saying that y'all should go kill your characters right now and be done with their story. No, I only mean for you to think about their death. If your main character or any of the other major characters were to die in the current scene you are writing, would anyone care? Would you care? Sure we like all of our characters, but take a step back from your story.

Try to look at your character's death from a reader's perspective. If you can honestly say that you would feel horrible if one of your major characters suddenly died, then you know you've done a great job as a writer developing that character, making them likeable enough to care about. If you can't seem to detach yourself from the story, ask a friend or a critique partner the same questions. Again, you don't really have to kill any of your characters. Just think about the kind of emotions their death will evoke.

The best thing about reading a book, in my opinion, is the ability that words have to make you feel. If a book doesn't make me feel anything then chances are it won't be memorable to me, and the characters will just be words on paper, nothing more. Sure that's okay for minor characters that don't advance the plot in any way, but if I come away from your book feeling that way about important characters then their death won't mean a thing to me. It's like when there is a fight scene on GoT and random people die. Sure it sucks for anyone to die but these characters...they're just extras in a scene, unimportant people. Your major characters aren't unimportant so don't write them as though they are. Write them and keep in mind that their death should mean something.

You can even take your main character and change the ending so that your story ends with them dying. If you ask someone (other than a person who has already read your ms) to read the new version with the death scene at the end, and ask them how they felt about it - you know your character left a mark on them if they cry or yell at you. I'm done crying but I really REALLY want to yell at George R. R. Martin right now. Seriously, though. If he (for whatever reason) wants to plan your wedding you tell him NO and move on with your life while you're still in one piece. That man doesn't need to write another wedding scene again if all of them are going to be as horrifying as...*shudders* (as you can see I'm a little traumatized). Anyways, my reactions to this episode and the death of his characters is proof that I cared about them; that their death hurt enough for me to mourn them like they were living people.

People don't cry of random character's deaths so don't let your character(s) be random and unimportant.

Make them worth someone shedding tears over.

To those who have killed any of their favorite characters: How did it make you feel? Did your CPs or anyone who has read your ms feel the same way? Did the death of that character fit them?

Thanks for reading!
6.6.13

TWO Weeks Until ONE: Comic Strip Installment #8



Hey everyone!

If you have been following my blog, then you know that I have mentioned One by Leigh Ann Kopans a few times. I was lucky enough to be apart of Team One and read an ARC of One and I can't tell you guys how much I loved this book.

There is romance and (light) science fiction...all wrapped into a book with extremely gorgeous writing and an equally beautiful cover. Leigh Ann Kopans is an author to watch. This story will make you swoon over the setting and the romance between Merrin/Elias. It will also make you root for Merrin until the very end.

I love books with strong female main characters. And Merrin is definitely strong. She knows what she wants, sticks by her decisions, and never quits trying. One is set in a world where having half of a superpower isn't anything extraordinary. If you want to do anything important in life you have to have two powers; be a Super. Merrin wants nothing more than to do something important in her life, but she'll learn that having one power or two isn't what decides the kind of future she'll lead.

Despite the title of the book, One proves that there is power in numbers; that we don't have to save the world alone. I'm not good at reviewing books and I'm sure you can find a better, more in-depth review of One but this book is seriously a book that you won't want to pass up. It's a refreshing, light read that will make you wish you already had the sequel.

Okay, enough of my rambling. I know you guys are mostly here for the 8th installment of the beautiful comic strip drawn by Francesca Zappia.

So without farther ado...




Find a full list with links to the other installments of this series on the author’s blog:  www.leighannkopans.blogspot.com

Or follow the author on Twitter @LeighAnnKopans for daily updates!


About ONE (a novel by Leigh Ann Kopans:)

Release date: June 11, 2013



When having two powers makes you a Super and having none makes you a Normal, having only one makes you a sad half-superpowered freak.

It makes you a One.

Sixteen-year-old Merrin Grey would love to be able to fly – too bad all she can do is hover.

If she could just land an internship at the Biotech Hub, she might finally figure out how to fix herself. She busts her butt in AP Chem and salivates over the Hub’s research on the manifestation of superpowers, all in hopes of boosting her chances.

Then she meets Elias VanDyne, another One, and all her carefully crafted plans fly out the window. Literally. When the two of them touch, their Ones combine to make them fly, and when they’re not soaring over the Nebraska cornfields, they’re busy falling for each other.

Merrin's mad chemistry skills land her a spot on the Hub's internship short list, but as she gets closer to the life she always wanted, she discovers that the Hub’s purpose is more sinister than it has always seemed. Now it’s up to her to decide if it's more important to fly solo, or to save everything - and everyone - she loves

Add ONE to your Goodreads and learn more about the author here: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17251203-one

Thanks for reading everyone! <3 p="">
 
5.6.13

What's Up Wednesday

What's Up Wednesday is a weekly meme started by Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk where writers post about what's up by answering four questions. If you want to participate, go here.


WHAT I'M READING

So I made myself promise that I wouldn't buy any more books. I have a buttload of unread eBooks on my Kindle plus around four other books that I haven't gotten around to reading or finishing (This includes The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - I will get back to this book one day. It's just the font is so small and despite my youth I have terrible vision.) Well, anyways, you'll understand why my current predicament is a problem when I tell you that a book I really wanted to read came out and it took a lot of self-restraint for me to not just buy the book and throw all the promises I made out the window.  Yeah, Faking It by Cora Carmack was *this* close to being an exception but then the best thing in the world  EVER happened. I won an e-copy of the book on twitter and...this is amazing because I don't usually win things and so my lucky streak with winning books (I've won quite a few of them lately) has been a little crazy/wonderful. 


I love my Kindle
 I stayed up a little later than usual reading Faking It and let me to tell you it is way better than Losing It.  Cade is so sweet/funny/I think I'm going to add him on to my long list of book boyfriends. So, if you like NA Romances that are well-written and have great characters this book is for you. Plus, the cover looks pretty on a Kindle Fire screen, don't you think? I'm 46% in to this book and at the rate I'm reading, I need to start thinking about what I'm going to read next. And there are so many books to choose from...not that I'm complaining. ;)
 
WHAT I'M WRITING
 
I was *this* close to reaching 10K in my NA Science Fiction wip but instead of  moving on, I decided to start over. No matter how many times I tried to write, there was this nagging voice in the back of my head telling me that this wasn't the right place to start the story, and though I complained for a bit about starting over...I knew that if I didn't do it now, then I would end up doing it farther down the road when I had 50,000 words instead of 10. I like the new beginning a lot better than the old one. I read a blog post about first pages (can't remember where I saw it) but the advice that stuck out to me was this: Start the story when your character's life changes.
 
After reading that, it didn't take long for me to get a sense of when Seren's life changes and what happens when it does. The good thing is...I still get to keep bits and pieces of all the words I wrote, so I don't have to get rid of them completely.
 
I keep all of my notes for Starfall in Scrivener and I'm really excited about writing this because for the first time I have an outline, a plot, and characters that I really want to write about. Since I'm a pantser, I usually only have the characters, and so when I finish writing a wip, there isn't any plot for me to build off of. I don't want to have to trunk another project, so I hope the fact that I outlined this time around will give me better results.
 
I also know how Starfall is going to end which means that I don't have any excuses. I have a Point A and a Point B. Now I just have to fill in all of the parts in-between.
 
 
WHAT INSPIRES ME RIGHT NOW
 
I would have to say that writing in general is inspiring me right now. I read over stuff I have written now, and can't help but think about how much I have grown as a writer. I might just be biased, but my writing has improved a lot since I first started writing almost ten years ago when I was nine.
 
A lot of my progress can be attributed to the books I read/the tv shows I watch. I'm not sure about you guys but whenever I read a book, I analyze how the author writes this or that. I pick apart some of my favorite scenes and ask myself what do I like about this scene? What makes this scene good? What makes it bad?
 
The same goes for the writing on tv shows I watch. Seeing the way different characters interact with each other on screen really helps me to think about my characters and who they are not only as individuals but who they are when they are around other characters. This is all just going back to the saying that if you want to improve at writing you have to read (and in my case: watch tv).
 
WHAT ELSE I'VE BEEN UP TO
 
  • Well, I am trying to dodge spoilers for Game of Thrones because I am so behind and I keep hearing about the Red Wedding and everyone on twitter/other places on the internet have made it sound terrifying which can only mean that someone died. And if it's my luck, then it was a character that I really liked. And...yeah. I'm really scared to start S3 but I must be brave.
  • I'm really horrible at explaining things but I'm looking forward to Ready. Set. Write. which you can find out more about here. Basically, if you're like me and need people to hold you accountable for your writing, then this is for you. I'm really hoping to finish the first draft of Starfall this summer, so this couldn't have come at a better time. It's going to start officially on June 12th so you guys have a little bit of time to figure out what you want to work on (if you want to participate). I'm hoping a lot of people decide to do this because the more people the better.

Enough about me. What are you guys up to?